tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Oct 12 19:05:39 1993

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Power Klingon

Having receivbed my HolQeD this morning and seen mention of a new Klingon
tape, I *had* to see about it.  Sure enough, I managed to get a copy of the
new _Power Klingon_ (ISBN 0-671-87975-8).  You have to check it out.  I'm
so excited I'm dealing with my ridiculous connection from home at 1200 baud
to write instead of waiting until I get to work tomorrow.  *Lots* of stuff
of prime interest to us.  I imagine you won't think it's a spoiler if I
mention them?

As mentioned in HolQeD, there's some support for "jIHvaD" forms, in the
sentence "DaH jiHvaD yIngev" for "sell it to me now".  So we were on the
right track after all.  More interesting to me is the blessing of "double
objects", where one would expect "-vaD" and a direct object, as in the
sentences from the tape "ghIchwIj DabochmoHchugh, ghIchlIj qanob" ("If you
shine my nose, I'll give you your nose", a proverb meaning "Don't try to
bullshit me.")  Note the last sentence.  Admittedly, this is a proverb,
which may have poetic structure.  But later, in a definitely mundane
sentence, there's "ro'qegh 'Iwchab HInob" ("pass (give) me the rokeg blood
pie"), with the same structure.

Another interesting construction I haven't fully analyzed: "cha'vatlh ben
HIq" is given for "two-century-old ale".  This seems to be a use of "ben" a
little beyond what we know; I might have understood "cha'vatlh ben HIq
vItlhutlh" as "I drank ale 200 years ago" (and it probably means that

Remember the problems we had with "'IwlIj jachjaj"?  Well, Okrand must have
gotten some flak about it, because he seemed to go out of his way to rub
our noses in it and say it was right.  His "-jaj" phrases in toasts and
proverbs *consistently* have the subject before the verb.  I imagine it's a
poetic structure, formalized by familiarity (kind of like "Until death
parts us" sounds wrong, even though it's far more normal in structure [by
modern colloquial standards] than "till death do us part").  So "'IwlIj
jachjaj" reappears, along with "reH tlhInganpu' taHjaj", "reH tlhIngan wo'
taHjaj", and "SoH qeylIS qab(??) yInjaj" (may the spirit of Kahless live in
you.  I don't know precisely what the marked word was.).  Moreover, Dorn
says that the toasts have a grammatical structiure of their own, and that
there was a recent incident of a tourist reversing two words of the toast
(jachjaj 'IwlIj, perhaps?) and inadvertently insulting all prior and
several subsequent generations of the families of those present, and the
tourist's pieces were still being collected.  I guess Okrand wants to
remind us who's still in charge.

There may be evidence for an independent ?nga' root for "to mate" in the
insult "targhlIj yInga'??? yIruch" ("go and mate with your targ"), but I'm
not sure I heard the word right.

It seems from phrases used that a feeling I expressed earlier about the
"-neS" suffix was on the right track: that it expresses respect for the
*person(s) addressed* no matter who the subject of the sentence is.  I see
this in sentences like "po'neS baHwI'pu'lI'" (your gunners are skillful,
your honor).  Your mileage may vary.

There's some discussions of "regional dialect", which sounds *awfully* like
the incomprehensible speech of actors.  "What is this food" (Sojvetlh 'oH
nuq'e', as given in standard dialect), sounds like "sojvets oh nook".  A
whole lot like "doojvets oh nook" in the latest movie, eh?  Also note the
loss of the "-'e'".  Another sentence I wondered about was "pu'HIchwIj
Daleghpu'", which is translated "Have you seen my phaser?"  I'd have
expected "pu'HIchwIj Daleghpu''a'".  Maybe even without the "-pu'", since I
don't care if you still see it, but that's a topic for another post.

There is finally a "two-armed" relative clause, but Okrand doesn't use the
"-'e'" prefix as we do, indicating that it is at least optional (he's
communicated that it was okay, though, hasn't he?).  The proverb is "Hov
ghajbe'bogh ram rur pegh ghajbe'bogh jaj" (a day without secrets is like a
night without stars).  Again, this is a proverb, and thus possibly

There's a whole section on Klingon mating/courtship ettiquette that must be
heard to be believed.  I'll leave it at that.

We finally have a better example for "I'm lost" than that confusing "naDev
jIHtaHbogh vISovbe'".  The new translation is "DaqwIj vISovbe'".  Isn't
that *far* cleaner?

A few curious phrases in the section for dealing with Klingon pets (always
in clipped Klingon, of course).  "'uSDaj chop chev" for "bite his arm off".
Intersting use of "chop" *and* "chev" for "biting off".  I'm not sure what
the unclipped version is.  There's also "Don't lick my forehead" which
sounds a lot like "QuchwIj DroSQo'", which represents, if I hear aright, an
innovation in Klingon words, as "?DroSQo'" starts with a consonant cluster.

As a bonus, I've transcribed the "transaction" at the beginning of the
tape, and I will here present it, as sort of an appetizer.  There are still
a few words I'm fuzzy on, sorry...

Klingon: nuqneH

Terran: 'IH jaj, qar'a'?  maja'chuqjaj.

K: jISaHbe'.

T: bISaHbe' qatlh bIjatlh?  chaq SoHvo' vay' vIje' vIneH!

K: tugh, SuH (SSS) bIje'be'chugh vaj bIHegh.  quvwIj DatIchpu', tera'ngan.
bIyIntaH 'e' Da???be' (sorry, closest it sounds like is qotlh).

T: yIjotchoH.... Dochvetlh... yI??? (sounds like cha', but isn't)

.... and tha's where it ends, after a terrible scream... 

Enjoy, folks!  More responses tomorrow, from a responsive terminal...


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